Joseph Farrugia’s artworks have always been a means of exploring different aspects of being. Through Nous, his current exhibition, Farrugia explores the various themes that have been addressed in his personal exhibitions held over a span of 40 years.
One of these themes has been transformation. Expressed in triptych form or within the space of a single panel, there is a transition from the figurative towards the abstraction whilst retaining a sense of consciousness and energy throughout the process. Hence, transformation is not associated with decay, but renewal and continuity.
The shadow and silhouette are seen to project the immaterial self on the external environment and explorations of internal space are represented by a scar, or the vacuum of uninhabited clothing. In other works, the individual struggles with the existential dilemma that a person can never be anyone else, contrasting with another theme where individuality is seen to disperse into a homogenous cluster.
Farrugia, who is also known as Spider, has been drawing and painting all his life, having exhibited many a time over a thirty year career span, most notably at the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Archaeology, Spazju Kreattiv, Splendid Gallery and Iniala Gallery in Malta and the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Looking back over the years, Farrugia is inclined to believe that all these themes are represented in the nature of the brushstroke. Emanating from a conscious action taken by the artist, the brushstroke also carries with it a sense of experimental randomness that is not replicable. Similar to how each breath of life, or nanosecond of experience is impossible to reproduce.
Nous runs at MUŻA, National Museum of Art, Valletta, until October 1.